With the ubiquity of cell phones, there are still many concerns arising on whether the usage of these mobile phones be removed from the learning environment. The world of cellular technology is rapidly increasing with the expanding features of multimedia and quick access to gaming, in recent years has multiplied among adolescents and even preteens. As such, this issue has been argued by many as it is known that cell phones are tools that are equipped with the latest features which can be helpful but unknowingly plays a crucial role. The utilization of cell phones should be prohibited in the classroom. Some consternation varies from disruption of classes, pornographic viewing, the inducing of theft and jealousy, cheating, anti- social behavior as well as connection to drug and gang related activities. This review of the literature will be elaborated on these six concerns.
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The largest stumbling block of having mobiles a learning setting is that they advance into an all-pervading disturbance for students. Teachers should adopt an awareness to eliminate texting in the classrooms. Many students are captivated by their cell phones and they keep glancing at the incoming messages rather than paying attention. According to Watters (2011), “If students are not texting, they’re not paying attention. Texting is often viewed as the new form of passing notes in the back of the class.”(p.6) Even if cell phones are not permitted, students become easily occupied with the ringing or vibration of these gadgets. Earl (2012) has argued that “Cell phones distract students from schoolwork and class activities. Half of teens send 50 or more text messages a day” (p. 8) Michigan State University reports,
Lead researcher Jeff Grabill, professor of writing and rhetoric, studied the writing behaviors of more than 1,300 first-year college students across the nation from a variety of institutions and locations from April to June. Texting is indeed writing, students said, and they value their texts more than any other writing style – even above social networking status updates and comments. People may argue texting is bad writing, but it’s writing many people do every day, said Grabill, co-director of MSU’s writing in Digital Environments Research Center. Contrary to the popular belief that “kids these days don’t write” (p.1- 4)
Another negative aspect that hovers among the student population is access to Pornographic material which is readily available. This stems from the mobiles which are constantly upgrading their features to better serve the public. But instead, students abuse this powerful tool. Children at this age are very impressionable as the need to explore and understand the opposite sex is far to highlighted by media. Levy (2011) brought forward a truth which most parents deny that is, “Children are using their phones to swap pornographic images” (p.1). Another research from Dr. Emma Bond, an expert in childhood and youth studies, said “adults need to take our heads out of the sand”. Parents are purchasing technology that will keep their kids occupied but guidance and monitoring these cell phones should be in effect as well. Levy (2011) reports that Bond’s research “shows how children are using mobile phones in obtaining sexual material, developing their sexual identities and in their intimate relationships with each other”. Pictures can also be uploaded onto the Internet and students can use this as a form of cyber bullying.
Borkar (2012) has argued that cell phones can bring with it hostility. “This can lead to a lot of social problems like hierarchy, jealousy, thefts, ragging and ridicule. This makes the adjustment process in school rather difficult.” Many students can be intimidated by not having the most expensive cell phone and by frustration and anger can therefore cause harm to students owning expensive accessories such as a cell phone. Scaccia (2013) argued that “Cell phones are status symbols for teenagers because when the phone rings while the teacher is talking, everyone laughs.” The teacher will be mocked and taken for a joke when the presence of a mobile enters the classroom.
Students can also take advantage of cell phones’ Internet capabilities not only to access information and games but also to seek out responses for quizzes. If a student is in possession of a palm sized Internet connection, they will be given the opportunity to cheat. According to Saoyuth (2010), Cambodian students were assisted in their examinations with the support of their cell phones. Saoyuth interviewed a female student who stated that, “Besides copying answers from each other, candidates in my room could even make a phone call outside during the exams to get answers.” Cheating can be a very severe act because a student could receive text messages from previous friends who had already taken the test. Children are supposed to prepare themselves fully in preparation for their examinations without having corrupted situations of misconduct with the use of mobile phones. Students should be trained to develop and become critical thinkers without the dependency of cell phones
Communication with peers can be hindered in such a way that instead of discussion of group work, a student would seek ideas on the web browser and neglect the need to socialize and build relationships with their classmates. According to Tchouaffe (2009), “Cell phones have become a digital platform from which to launch all kinds of anti-social behaviors”. With this situation on the rise, social skills are rapidly deteriorating because of the lack of its use. The chances of meeting new friends would be insufficient simply because of being distracted with a cell phone conversation.
Teenagers often experiment with a variety of substances. Unfortunately, this experimentation can lead to substance abuse and addiction. Statistics show that drug abuse is a emergent predicament among adolescents. Many students are peer pressured into substance abuse and the formation of gangs. Cell phones have also had a role assisting in drug and gang related activities. According to Duddukuri (2012),
A decade ago, a few schools took a stand and banned their students from carrying cell phones and pagers in school premises. This authoritarian decision was taken to curb down the incidents of substance abuse and gang related activities, especially when connection between cell phones and gang activities was found to be evident. After the 9/11 attacks and shootings in schools, many parents and school authorities expressed their fears for the safety of kids and the debate intensified even more. (p. 3)
With the issues at hand, the safety of the students would be the number one priority of the school. Duddukuri (2012) reports that,
With regards to school safety, they have proved to be a threat. There have been many cases when texts warning a bomb threat were circulated among the students leading to rumors and panic. They are detrimental in spreading rumors and gossips among the kids in school, thus disrupting the school environment. (p.5)
Although cell phones have been technologically upgrading and boasts all the features assist in many tasks, researchers continue to generate controversy over the fact that technology is a main source of distraction to these young minds. Every child has a right to an education but also a right to take full advantage of an education without the intrusion of a ringtone.
By Rujuta Borkar
Last Updated: 1/5/2012
Olivier Tchouaffe (2009) -http://flowtv.org/2009/05/everywhere-means-nowhere-cell-phones-and-the-reconfiguration-of-space-and-informationolivier-tchouaffe-southwestern-university/
By Pushpa Duddukuri
Last Updated: 1/11/2012
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